The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help you to design an efficient infrastructure that addresses your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, automate system management and monitoring, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you get the highest return from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively recent computing patterns whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent demand for intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical because of network virtualization. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and requiring very little real estate and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively limited network resources must support substantial volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine vast and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a serious need for a new class of switches that offer significantly higher throughput, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous solutions were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus environments where office employees must be supported with unvarying high throughput, strict client access control, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for performance and control with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps per switch and twice that per system, a powerful suite of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize system utilization, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build smart switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and separate and control processes to enhance network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for as many as nine switches in a stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with advanced QoS features for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single resource pool must be used by applications and services that need to run in complete isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-VRF and includes additional features including VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired plus wireless services on a single platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless networks, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for world-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users are managed in a two-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement preserves your infrastructure expenditures and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT team retraining.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized administration to ensure consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS capability for maximum uptime through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to partition specific user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise core environments that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, providing a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and 44 40GE access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone switches intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40GE access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor chassis with 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40GE access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad experience delivering online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to manage and support than contemporary switches, deliver lower performance and fewer features, and for many situations can subject organizations to compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to support and repair these legacy switches and can in addition assist you to plan and execute seamless migrations to current models from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Line
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to add network devices like wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of redundant power supplies with auto switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to set up a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides strong security against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches SupportCisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of switches are small, stackable devices with eight Ethernet ports plus a single built-in Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped areas like on or under a user's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Available models have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplinks, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to perform as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts management expense with single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects against IPv6 address interception and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches HelpCiscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital technology including VoIP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent features such as quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch offers a powerful set of features that permit network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; PIM increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches SupportFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates deployment of unified technologies and adapts to evolving competitive environments by providing setup versatility, support for unified network traffic, and automatic set up of intelligent system functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit environments and includes a wide selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-grade features, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 separate switches into a single functional unit, using custom stack-interface cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is managed by a control switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new members or delete old devices without operational interruption.

How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and information security and compliance testing and verification.

Progent has broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also have deep knowledge of crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your security posture.

If you require ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, plan, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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